OXFORD City Stars are close to becoming a sustainable club that can target a higher level of ice hockey, says director Greig Box Turnbull.

The English National League South Division 1 outfit have laid the foundations for a self-sufficient future since unveiling their renewed vision in May.

It has seen a host of youngsters enrol in the club’s youth set-up, which aims to eventually produce Oxfordshire players for the first team.

On the commercial side, Stars boast several new sponsors, while they are aiming to enhance their links in the community.

Despite a tough start to the season which saw three defeats in their first four games, Box Turnbull is confident the work going on behind the scenes will bear fruit for years to come.

He said: “The club needs to become sustainable quite quickly, so what’s really important is some stability.

“We’ve put the platform in place and we’re two new sponsors and about an additional 50 fans at home games from being self-sufficient.

“It’s a work in progress but we’re pleased with the start we’ve made.

“In five years’ time I would like to see us playing at the highest level we can, with a team of homegrown players in front of a sell-out crowd.”

Board members Box Turnbull, general manager Jo Mundy and local businessman Grant Shergold head up the not-for-profit organisation, which allows any surplus funds to be reinvested into the club.

This is part of a revised vision which has seen Stars and the junior set-up become more closely-aligned to create a development pathway.

Head coach Simon Anderson and assistant Darren Elliott are involved in coaching players from the first team right down to the junior section, which has five teams between the under 9s and under 18s.

There are now 85 youngsters involved, while Stars are also hoping to field a separate team in Division 2 to smooth the transition from age-group sides to the first team.

Box Turnbull, who was formerly managing director at Oxford United, said: “We need to have players graduate from the youth pathway to the first team within the next five years.

“Currently half of the Stars team are Oxford boys, but where are the next crop coming from?

“The fans love watching homegrown players, there’s that extra sense of identity and belonging.”

The director admitted attendances have fallen since Stars won the league and cup double in 2017/18, but is optimistic numbers will rise again.

The club have become the first second tier club to use online ticketing service TicketCo, while they are making efforts to improve the matchday experience.

Box Turnbull said: “It’s the same question at Oxford United – what can we do to increase the fanbase?

“I’ve never been bored at a game, it’s very intense but very family-friendly and that’s key to us.

“The club has been promoting ice hockey passionately for the last few years and we’re still only starting to see the benefits.”